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6-Year-Old Says Grand Theft Auto Taught Him To Drive

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the buck-beats-scapegoat dept.

Media 504

nandemoari writes "A six-year-old who recently stole his parents' car and drove it into a utility pole has passed the buck onto a familiar scapegoat: the video game, Grand Theft Auto. Rockstar Games' controversial Grand Theft Auto video game has been criticized by parent groups and crusaders (or in the eyes of gamers, nincompoops) like former lawyer Jack Thompson for years (Thompson once tried to link the Virginia Tech slayings to late-night Counterstrike sessions. He's since been disbarred). However, not as of yet has anyone under the age of, oh, ten, blamed the game for a car theft."

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Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

gbulmash (688770) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382229)

Let's put the blame squarely where it lies... on the stupid freakin' parents who were letting a 6-year-old play GTA!

It doesn't take that much effort to monitor your kids. But it does mean saying no and standing up to their whining and crying. It does mean dealing with the inconvenience of not being able to always do what you want to do and having to spend some time actively engaging them.

If this kid was playing GTA, then there should be additional charges filed against his parents.

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

lxt (724570) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382255)

And let's just remember here, this is a 6 year old kid. It's not like he's walking up to a counter and buying the game himself. His parents (or somebody) went out and actively bought a game where you deliver drugs and are free to have sex with prostitutes for him.

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382291)

You should probably be more concerned with the parts where you kill people.

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382347)

Well that depends where the poster is from. If it's the Netherlands, then gun violence and murder are considered a bigger social problem than drugs and prostitution. If it's America, then drugs and prostitution are considered bigger social problems than gun violence and murder.

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

DeathElk (883654) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382533)

Hmmm, interesting priorities. I, for one, would rather get stoned and laid than shot and killed...

Re:Prosecute the parents (-1, Troll)

bigblacknigger (1440657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382757)

Why don't you just suck a nice, long turd out of Malda's rancid asshole? Lick that shit right up. That way, you'll get the best of both worlds.

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

HiVizDiver (640486) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382833)

You are clearly not from the US, where it's okay for us to buy guns at Wal-Mart, but OMG BOOBIES HIDE TEH CHILDERN!!!! ;-)

Note that even as a lefty-moderate, I actually don't see anything wrong with guns. I do love me some shootin', and properly handled and locked up, they're no more dangerous than a hammer or any other object that could be used to kill someone.

Re:Prosecute the parents (3, Insightful)

Raffaello (230287) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383013)

Hard to kill someone at ten yards with a hammer

Don't read too often about the 7 year old who accidentally killed his playmate when he found his dad's toolbox unlocked.

school children are almost never killed in the crossfire in drive by nailings

  so guns are in fact more dangerous than hammers.

Re:Prosecute the parents (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383071)

I could kill someone at ten yards with a hammer if i threw it.... And what if kids took the recipe for a potato gun at high velocity and shot up their school in a "drive-by potato-ing"

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Interesting)

wizzat (964250) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383073)

When I was a younger man, I knew a kid (~8 yr/o) that was put in the Big House because he attacked his playmate with a hammer. He said he got mad and 'woke up' standing over the other boy with the bloody hammer in his hand. Last I talked to him, the other kid was still not conscious. Additionally, you have to look at accidental injuries with hammers vs accidental injuries with guns. While the single instance seriousness of a gun accident is much higher, I'd say (from experience) that the collective injuries from the common hammer is much higher. In fact, I'm willing to bet that there's more hammer and tool related hospitalizations than gun hospitalizations...

Re:Prosecute the parents (3, Informative)

Nathrael (1251426) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383107)

Of course they are dangerous - but pretty much everything can be said to be dangerous, and if it isn't guns, then it is cars, and if isn't cars or guns, then it is pollution, or whatever. People will always find something to go mad about - besides, you know...guns don't kill people, people kill people. And, coming from a nation with very tight gun control laws - well, here, the people possessing guns are mainly either employed by the police (which is underfunded and -trained and thus doesnt't exactly do a good job as protecting the citizens) and wannabe criminals carry knifes and iron knuckles, and well - to me, it doesn't make much of a difference if I get stabbed or beaten to death, but I'd wish I'd at least have a chance to defend myself and finally can cross the street in certain parts of this land without having to fear some rabid criminals.

Re:Prosecute the parents (1)

Desipis (775282) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383029)

Yeah, but you can't rule the world with people who are inclined to get stoned and laid.

Re:Prosecute the parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382593)'re wrong there, Gustaaf. Murder is one of the biggest social problems everywhere...not matter how it is conducted.

Re:Prosecute the parents (1)

bigblacknigger (1440657) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382719)

Suck my beautiful shining hairless jet-black scrotum you imbecile.

Re:Prosecute the parents (2, Insightful)

Osric250 (1388823) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382797)

You would think that. But a lot more time and resources in America are devoted to getting rid of drugs and arresting prostitutes than to solving a lot of the homicides that occur. Especially in major cities.

Re:Prosecute the parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382989)

Maybe so, but you have to realize that there are far far more cases of drug and prostitution crimes than there are murders.
If you have 1,000 drug/prostitution incidences and 1 murder, it would make sense to devote a smaller portion of the police force to the murder. And the lesser crimes can easily lead to more serious ones (as a large portion of murders are drug related).

Re:Prosecute the parents (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382703)

How can it teach him to drive anyway?

Apparently he crashed...

Re:Prosecute the parents (2, Funny)

DeadPixels (1391907) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383063)

It didn't - he looked all over the dashboard but just couldn't find the control sticks!

Even better reason (5, Insightful)

SuperKendall (25149) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382275)

The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

With kids, everything is on high security lockdown. Especially when young.

I'll bet his was surprised when the pole didn't just fly out the way gracefully, thank goodness ho found a pole before a hooker.

Re:Even better reason (4, Funny)

jonnythan (79727) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382385)

thank goodness ho found a pole before a hooker.

Freudian slip?

Re:Even better reason (2, Funny)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382469)

The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

We're talking Grand Theft Auto here. Have you ever seen 'em use car keys? The kid probably bashed both his parents out of the car to steal it.

Re:Even better reason (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382993)

If a kid can unlock a door, they can probably start a car. And yes, most 6 year olds can unlock a door.

Re:Even better reason (4, Insightful)

TubeSteak (669689) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382525)

The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

Your parents didn't?

As far as I can recall, my parents have put their keys and wallet/purse in the same easy-to-reach place for over 20 years.

Really, it isn't like kids didn't go joyriding in or steal cars 'back in the day',
the media just didn't sensationalize it by shouting "ZOMG VIDEO GAMEZ"

Re:Even better reason (1)

davester666 (731373) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382571)

Hell, I give me niece my car keys to play with. Course, she's only 1...

Re:Even better reason (1)

stonedcat (80201) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382793)

You're going to hell for that!
Putting that poor child in danger.

Re:Even better reason (4, Funny)

Tamran (1424955) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382823)

Hell, I give me niece my car keys to play with. Course, she's only 1...

Do you know where your car is right now?

Re:Even better reason (4, Insightful)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382785)

The parents had car keys where the six year old could get them?

With kids, everything is on high security lockdown. Especially when young.

I'll bet his was surprised when the pole didn't just fly out the way gracefully, thank goodness ho found a pole before a hooker.

My six year old son can drive games like tux cart and mario cart. He watches my wife and I drive. he knows where the car keys are too, but I am not the slightest bit concerned that he will start doing adult things like driving the car.

A six year old is perfectly capable of knowing the difference between right and wrong without being wrapped in cotton wool.

Re:Even better reason (3, Interesting)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383075)

I disagree. My five-year-old knows to drive the car you need to be 16, have a license, and have daddy's permission. She also knows that just because she can handle Mario Kart does not mean she knows how to drive. She knows that video games are fantasy and that when cars crash in real life people are hurt or even killed. We also don't neglect her or tell her we need to nap when it is time for her to go somewhere, so I guess that helps, too.

I am curious where you kept your keys while your child(ren) were young. Short of a locked safe, I honestly can't think of a place in my house my daughter couldn't get my keys if she were so determined.

We do keep things out of easy reach (e.g., knives). But those are things that can hurt her just by handling them. She knows enough to not try to reach them, but we don't want her encountering them by accident. She could reach them if she were determined, but she won't. She'd also never really have the opportunity since one of us is always around.

Car keys aren't really that dangerous in and of themselves. I'm more worried about her losing them than doing any damage with them. Just to use them in the car would take significant determination on the part of a young child, so I don't really think making them more difficult to get to is really going to prevent this type of thing if the kid is determined to have a go.

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

dmomo (256005) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382311)

Let's mod the parent "Redundant". Not because it isn't valid. It's basically the only reasonable response to stories like this and I would hope the majority of posts that follow are in the same vein. But hot dang, we've beaten this to death and now it's like we're just indulging it. Mod this story redundant.

The news story shouldn't be:

6 Year Old Blames GTA for Car Crash.

The story is:
6 Year Old Crashes Car


6 Year Old Allowed to Play GTA

Re:Prosecute the parents (1)

skaet (841938) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382409)

Too bloody right. Unless the brat was using a full wheel/pedals/transmission peripheral (where the hell do I buy these from? I could totally hit'n'run hookers in style!), there is no way he could learn to drive - or at least learn to crash in this case - from GTA.

Re:Prosecute the parents (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382925)

Unless the brat was using a full wheel/pedals/transmission peripheral (where the hell do I buy these from?

GTA does not support Logitech steering wheel anyway. Many other driving games do.

Re:Prosecute the parents (0, Offtopic)

vawarayer (1035638) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382521)

Let's mod the parent "Redundant".

What I find more and more redundant or offtopic these days on /. is comments about mod points

Please let the moders do their job. They probably can think for themselves.

Re:Prosecute the parents (4, Interesting)

jerep (794296) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382333)

This is what happens when the kids have more authority than their parents, they whine, cry, shout and whatnot and the parent is just standing there thinking "what am I going to do with them". These parents usually do everything their child ask of them thinking it will make them happy and maybe correct this behavior, when in fact it just encourages it.

I agree with the parent (post, not the kid's), a 6-yo shouldn't play an adult game that promotes stealing cars, there's a good reason it was made an adult game and this kid just proves it.

Re:Prosecute the parents (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382505)

You're a reactionary idiot. The story is almost certainly misstating what actually happened, yet you appear to believe it completely and mindlessly lash out at the child's parents. Make no mistake, sometimes parents are at fault for the poor behavior of their children; however, sometimes they are not. There is no possible way of knowing the circumstances from the story, thus passing judgment either way is the height of arrogance.

Re:Prosecute the parents (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382901)

That was your kid, wasn't it...

Re:Prosecute the parents (5, Insightful)

mpascal (1158165) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382575)

Hey now! If we are going to blame GTA for teaching how to steal mom's car; can we also give them credit for motivating the kid to drive himself to school? What we have here is an eager young learner. What other kid has stolen a car to go to school?

Re:Prosecute the parents (1)

arbiter1 (1204146) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382693)

I read the story of this, the parents are charged with child endangerment and they put the 2 children in protective custody. All i got to say on that is GOOD. If you are a parent that lets your 6 year old kid play any game like GTA you should just be shot imo.

Re:Prosecute the parents (4, Funny)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382847)

Yeah, that'd be grand.

"I played GTA when I was 6, so now I'm an orphan." :P

Re:Prosecute the parents (2, Insightful)

drsquare (530038) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382873)

This is all rubbish anyway, GTA doesn't teach you how to drive. I played driving games, but when I stepped into a car it took me about ten minutes to make the thing move at all, and that's with an instructor.

Re:Prosecute the parents (4, Insightful)

opposabledumbs (1434215) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383065)

I think you're beating a non-existent issue in this case,from reading the article on this. I'm not very sure how much GTA had to do with anything here: within minutes of the kid getting picked up by the cops, his dad was issued with a charge of criminal negligence due to a previous court order which ordered him not to leave the kid alone, and the kid stole the car to get to school and get some food.

That seems to say that there are previous, serious home issues here, not something that can be explained away by a stupid knee-jerk, blame-the-game reaction.

Not sure which version of GTA he may have had access to, but mine didn't show me how to turn the key while pushing the gas pedal down with the car in park.

Besides, the kid stole the car to get to school so that he could get some food, which is incredibly sad. It's guessed that, as he is not tall for his age, he was standing on the pedals, and at some points he was exceeding 70 MPH.

The only inference I can see to GTA is his drivintg style: speeding, overtaking, too, and an attempt at a pass on a double solid while traffic was oncoming led to him losing control and smacking the pole.

But my argument still is: someBODY actually taught him to drive- not some game.

Next up... (5, Insightful)

Nemyst (1383049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382235)

Now you can blame plane crashes on Flight Simulator!

Re:Next up... (5, Funny)

gbarules2999 (1440265) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382269)

I got fat off Pac-Man.

Re:Next up... (4, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382355)

I got addicted to speed from Pac-Man. He pops one pill, and suddenly he's moving faster and can beat the crap out of the bullies chasing him. Fruit gives you points, but pills are good for you.

Re:Next up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382411)

It's Leisure Suit Larry's fault that I have a fondness for gambling and hookers.

Re:Next up... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382763)

Pac-man made me gay, convinced me its good go go around gobbling balls!

Re:Next up... (1)

NXIL (860839) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382553)

Oh, that has already been done:

November 1999-- Nawaq ALHAZMI (whose name is on the lease) and Khalid ALMIDHAR move into apartment 127 at Parkwood Apartments, a 175-unit apartment complex in the Clairemont, section of San Diego on Mount Ada Road near the mosque off Balboa Drive. Neighbors report them playing flight-simulator videogames late into the night. They are constantly on their cell phones. They drive a gray early-90s Toyota Camry, but are seen getting into limousines late at night. []

Clearly: Toyota is the terror car of choice. Except for limosines, which should be banned.

Re:Next up... (2, Interesting)

db32 (862117) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382821)

NONONO NO you cant! The government said so! Remember? You know, when they said "no on has ever thought of flying planes into buildings, we were totally taken by surprise". Except for everyone who has ever played ANY kind of flying game. I bet at LEAST 75% of all people who have played a flying game have gotten frustrated and flown into something.

Side note. In 2004 I was at an arcade and they had a huge sim plane thing $1 to play...the goal...take off in a fucking airliner and fly through checkpoint rings in the city on a timer. The thing even flew like a airliner all slow and winged whale like. I remember in the last 20 seconds before it kicked me off I tried to get it to do a loop into a spiral and the timer hit 0 just before I slammed into the scenery leaving a nice continue screen with a hair away from a building. Awesome!

I believe in eyes (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382243)

If it has eyes it can possibly see, unless they eyes are decorative or damagesd or incompetent in some way.SO if tou see yees m tyeyuunjk nh98pho;inkl.m, nfsuhnkj J
{WRI+WN)IPJOLF JKSJn mn loon.njfhnhnponphnh[na ;n;a n' an'n' an'an' an 'a n'a n'a na' an' an' n n' n' an' a n'an'a n'a [fa LOONS have pussies with a gorn gorgngoringojejgopejgoejgoejgo jogejogejgoegjoeja;jf;;j; ;j;j;j;j;:JJ:J:J:J:J:uyiuq3rkk/ FUCK!!!!!

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382265)

The parents should be neutered, then thrown in jail.

TFA lacks pertinent details... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382277)

No mention of how many hookers he had blow him and then subsequently ran over.

I wish I could tag (4, Insightful)

skogs (628589) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382281)

Bad parenting.
How many kids used to grow up emulating old western movies?
What about the Rocky movies?

Most of the time, decent parents stop the children before they act out gun fights, boxing matches, and tractor chicken.

Stop blaming your environment and start taking responsibility for yourselves!

Re:I wish I could tag (2, Insightful)

mr_mischief (456295) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382365)

We acted out gun fights all the time. Our guns shot water, though. This kid had a REAL car.

Re:I wish I could tag (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382501)

Too right. I don't know how RS didn't realize their "Every kid under 10 gets a free car with purchase" promotion wouldn't cause problems later.

Re:I wish I could tag (2, Insightful)

sumdumass (711423) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382515)

Well, to be fair, the kid said the game taught him how to drive, not that driving was ok or that he was allowed to.

The 6 year old missed the bus and his mom would get up to take him to the school so the kid grabed the keys and went almost there. The cops took him the rest of the way. The mom told him she had to take a nap, it seems like the kid was used to doing things himself in that family. Anyways, he didn't tell the cops that the game made him think it was ok to drive, he said he learned how to drive from playing the game. He probably learned just as much from watching mommy drive too.

Re:I wish I could tag (1)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382855)

I would just like to point out that he took the car to DRIVE TO SCHOOL. I don't know about you guys, but I certainly didn't look forward enough to school that I would try to drive myself there, especially not at 6. He missed the bus, his mother was asleep, and he wanted to get to school. He obviously didn't want to disturb his mother, and it wasn't good that this occurred... but we all leave keys out in places that are easy to find and reach, and they obviously did SOMETHING right, if the kid was going to school. Maybe people should RTFA before they decide that he was just going on a joyride...

the real story (5, Informative)

UncleWilly (1128141) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382283)

The real story is somewhat sadder. Dad went to work, kid missed school bus, Mom was asleep (and the boy didn't want to miss breakfast & P.E. at school) so he tried to drive himself in Mom's car. Police asked him how he did it and he told them he stood next to the wheel and steered with one hand. Then when asked how he knew how to drive, he answered, Grand Theft Auto. It sounds like this came mostly from being hungry. Both parents I understand have been charged with felonys related to this.

The Real TFA (4, Informative)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382381)

Associated Press []

Thanks for reading TRFA -- looks like you're almost right. It wasn't just GTA, either:

The boy told police he learned to drive playing Grand Theft Auto and Monster Truck Jam video games.

Ironically, on the directly linked TFA [] :

Here's hoping that the parents who allowed a child to see (let alone play) Grand Theft Auto will attract more attention that the award-winning video game (which anyone will admit, should only be played by adults).

Yeah, good job. Your pre-emptive, kneejerk, anti-Jack-Thompson interpretation has already drawn more attention to both Jack and GTA than the original article did.

And Mario Kart Wii has taught me... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382295)

...that if I can get the Bullet Bill, Bob-omb, or Star, I can get where I'm going a hell of a lot faster, by rocketing, blowing-up, and knocking people off the road as much as I like. Perhaps they should ban that game as well.

You know... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382313)

Idle isn't really my cup of tea most of the time, but I admit I get a little thrill every time someone puts the fact that Jack Thompson has been disbarred in print.

joy of toggling (1)

A3gis (708791) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382359)

I take it he did well pressing W or S repeatedly to hotwire the car then

Gta teaching? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382375)

Other than the obvious parenting issue. Anyone else find it odd that gta can teach a kid how to drive? I mean it's not like the game actually shows you the character shifting gears and doing anything inside the car. Last i remember, all it showed was a car moving... He probably learned it from watching mom/pop in the car.

My thought: the kid was being a wise ass or just because it's the first thing that comes to mind (whether true or not, reason skills at that age ususally aren't great).

Snakes on a car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382393)

A snake taught me to drive while I was on acid.

Re:Snakes on a car! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382479)

A cat names Dr. Freckles taught me to drive into walls while I was on Peyote. He was the cat-doctor ever.

Unfortunately... (4, Funny)

goatpunch (668594) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382417)

... GTA also taught him that you can drive through lampposts, notice that he avoided the trees.

Re:Unfortunately... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382781)

Well, at least he didn't get hurt, otherwise he'd have to have sex with a hooker and then kill her to get his money back.

4 year-old shoot sitter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382421)

The main article case was a child play. 4 year-old shoot his sitter [] is really news.

this is such bad parenting. (4, Insightful)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382441)

I would love for this to go to court and have them use this GTA defense. I totally agree. GTA is a danger to kids. We should keep it away from kids.

That being said, keep it the fuck away from kids.

My dad used to work at walmart for his retirement job and he would tell parents he wasn't going to sell them M rated games if they had little kids with them. The management backed him on it too.

Everyone who works in retail has an obligation to let parents know that games have ratings. There is such a thing as games for adults.

Re:this is such bad parenting. (5, Insightful)

Quartz25 (1195075) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382735)

I agree with you that keeping it from kids is a good idea, but it should be in the hands of the parents to decide. I think the real problem is that GTA is being used as a red herring to distract from more deeply rooted problems that each case has.

Re:this is such bad parenting. (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382753)

Now, see, I have an issue with this. As a gamer who is also a father, it is indeed possible that my son may be with me at some point where I am buying an "M" rated game. My son is quite young right now, so no employee could realistically believe that he's going to be playing the game, but 8 years from now or so, I foresee myself still playing and buying games. What then? I have to leave him at home or tell him to bugger off to look at the TVs while I pay for the game?

And my age group gets older, this situation is going to become more and more common.

Re:this is such bad parenting. (1)

xstonedogx (814876) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382811)

I will agree that retailers should, as a service to customers, inform them about game ratings.

I won't agree with refusing sale of M-rated video games to any adult with young children. It requires the assumption that the video game is for the children, which is tantamount to accusing your customers of bad parenting. Refusing to sell the game after notifying the parents of the M-rating is the same as saying you know better than the customers how to run the customers' lives and parent their children.

Honestly, is there a faster way to alienate customers than to insult their parenting skills and personal choices? Maybe you could just have the greeter announce at the top of his lungs that the person entering the store has Gonorrhea.

Re:this is such bad parenting. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382837)

That's a little harsh. I have a six year old, and we play video games together, and I have GTA4, but there's no way in hell I'd let him watch or play it. However, just because we do our shopping as a family event, if I were to buy an M rated game in his presence, doesn't mean I'd play it with him or let him play it. Besides, if I did buy it knowing the content, I have every right to let him play it (though again, some are totally off limits). He has watched some M-rated games (the Shin Megami Tensei games for instance).
What if the parent wanted to buy alcohol or tobacco, or even soft drinks, none of which are good for kids?

Anyway, yeah, if the kid played GTA, that's an issue, but in his defense that might not necessarily be where he got the idea about driving. I'm pretty sure he's seen his parents drive.
I don't remember, isn't the default driving view in GTA4 behind the car? That wouldn't teach you to do anything.

My cousin drove his parents' car into the lake behind their house when he was 8 or 10. Had nothing to do with videogames, he just wanted to see if he could drive (obviously not). Kids will do stupid/risky things, that's part of being a kid and part of learning what not to do, it's up to the parents to make sure those things are only slightly dangerous instead of totally suicidal. The GTA issue in the original article does seem like a non sequitur/red herring.

Re:this is such bad parenting. (1)

drew (2081) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382991)

I appreciate the thought, but does he ask if the video games are for the kids or the adults before refusing to sell them? Obviously, the fact that there are video games with "M" ratings shows that video games aren't made just for kids but too many people assume so anyway. Is somebody who automatically assumes anyone with a kid in tow is buying the game for the kid, necessarily doing any better then the people who don't know about the ratings in the first place?

Sorry, I'm not trying to be too critical of somebody I've never met. I appreciate his attempts to educate, and I fear that most of the time his assumption is probably correct. Still, the belief by so many people that video games are kids' toys that you must "grow out of" at some age really gets to me sometimes.

Pole Position (1)

grapeape (137008) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382475)

I tried blaming backing the car down a hill on Pole Position when I was a kid, didnt work then I really doubt this will work now.

Re:Pole Position (4, Funny)

karnal (22275) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382579)

Epic fail! Pole Position didn't have reverse!!!

Re:Pole Position (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383031)

That's why he was confused when the car moved "backwards" down the hill!

This kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382493)

has a bright future in politics.


Dear Mods: (0, Troll)

thenewguy001 (1290738) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382543)

Would you please not post pictures of his ugly mug on the front page? I'd rather see a picture of goatse than that douche. As if we don't already have enough reasons to hate idle.

Re:Dear Mods: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382635)

That's what you get for rtfa.

games don't create accidents. (3, Funny)

log1385 (1199377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382561)

Are they assuming here that a 6-year-old who had never played GTA would not have crashed his parents' car? Seriously, a driving 6-year-old is bound to get into an accident no matter what games he has played.

Re:games don't create accidents. (2, Interesting)

mysidia (191772) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382619)

They're using an old excuse "the game made me do it"

The kid is to blame here. The 6-year-old obviously has more sophisticated knowledge of vehicle workings than an average 6-year-old to be able to start a car up, take the car out of gear and get it in motion.

But very poor judgement

Followed by the parents.

Someone taught this kid how to do what he did, and it was NOT the video game.

GTA depicts cars being taken illicitly, but doesn't provide instruction in how to do it that a kid could have followed.

Re:games don't create accidents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382669)

but doesn't provide instruction in how to do it that a kid could have followed.

And that pretty much sums up the failure of the "murder trainer" argument. So, jack thompson, if GTA is so good at training people, why didn't the kid make it to school?

Re:games don't create accidents. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382817)

You are insane if you would blame a six year old before you blame his parents.

Re:games don't create accidents. (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383059)

No the game does not teach you how to drive, but that's not what matters.

1) The kid (being 6), plays the game.
2) The kid is late
3) The kid thinks "Hey, driving is easy, I can hit every hooker on the block in GTA"
4) ???
5) Profit!

Re:games don't create accidents. (1)

polymerousgeek (1196703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382825)

True true. In all likelihood, him learning what he did about driving from the game(s) probably prevented him from getting in an accident sooner.

...managed to drive it a surprising six miles before slipping over an embankment into a utility pole not far from school.

While it's a serious stretch, you could make a point that playing GTA actually helped him avoid a more serious accident. Who knew? Playing GTA could save your (six year-old's) life!

Re:games don't create accidents. (1)

tftp (111690) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382963)

In all likelihood, him learning what he did about driving from the game(s) probably prevented him from getting in an accident sooner.

Before we jump to that conclusion please consider that in GTA you run red lights all the time if you want to finish the game before you die from old age.

Re:games don't create accidents. (2, Insightful)

speedy.carr (878612) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383111)

Are you trying to suggest the title of the article should have been 6-year-old drives car 6 miles, thanks GTA?

not a story about Jack (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382569)

The summary associates this story with Jack Thompson's disbarment, which is irrelevant. Should we continue to expect such childish guilt-by-association from Slashdot, in place of reasoned argument?

Re:not a story about Jack (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382953)

You must be new here.

Stupid spin (2, Interesting)

Al Al Cool J (234559) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382709)

I have no great love of video games, but I really don't see the sense in spinning this story into an anti-gaming message. The kid learned something useful by playing video games. How is that bad?

Okay, six-years-old, not exercising the best of judgment, but what if the scenario was different? Say that his mom was unloading groceries when the car slipped out if gear and rolled back crushing and pinning her against a wall. The kid then uses his acquired skills to drive the car forward, saving her life. What would the spin be then?

Re:Stupid spin (1)

supernova_hq (1014429) | more than 5 years ago | (#26383067)

Yeah, if only he could find the "w" key...

Its the parents fault, not the kid (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382739)

A 6 year old cannot be blamed if the parents cannot provide the proper framework needed for his mind to develop sensibly. The parent()s allowed the kid to play and therefore, is/are liable, not the kid. Game ratings do make sense (with exceptions). Grand Theft Auto is not suitable for kids and these parents need to be cognizant of that fact.

Losing their car should be enough to have them do the right thing, which hopefully, is to dump Grand Theft Auto in favor of say, RuneScape.

Way over blown. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382759)

GTA doesn't show the fundamentals of driving a car but it is a simulator of cars driving. Seeing common road signs, keeping to the right, the very basics anyway and I'm sure this is what the kid meant. He learned the rest from watching his parents as he knows where his mom keeps the keys and how to use them. You can't learn much more from pressing X and Square on a controller.

What some people forget while they get on their screw Jack Thompson rants is that the kid is 6! He's in kindergarten or maybe grade 1! Where was your mom when you were going to kindergarten? Mine was holding my hand walking me to school every frigging day. Naps came second if she had any at all. Most parents will be standing with their kids making damn sure that they get on that bus and usually will be waiting at the end of the day making sure they come home as well.

This wouldn't be getting the reaction that it is if the kid said Grand Turismo or nothing at all but because he said GTA we get this. Of course now Ford will have a new marking angle for the Taurus. The number one vehicles chosen by 6 year olds.

Don't blame the game, but . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382767)

1) Regardless of whether or not he should have been allowed to play GTA, he should not have been allowed to drive the car. Now, you say, his mother was sleeping and didn't know . . . that is beside the point. By "not allowed," I don't mean she needs to be watching him ready to grab the car keys away. What I mean is that it should have been clear to him that the car is not a toy; he can't touch. Things like taking the car for a joy ride never even occurred to me as a kid. It was very clearly off limits. I am reminded of Sesame Street's cookie monster having to say that cookies are a "sometimes food." I watched Sesame Street as a kid, and the puppet stuffing cookies in his face never gave me the idea that I was allowed to do it or even that it was a good idea. Children are able to tell the difference between fantasy and reality, although it helps to have decent parents giving him guidance.

2) It is conceivable to me that GTA "taught him how to drive." Clearly, he didn't learn very well, but I have had my own experience with a computer game teaching me how to do something in reality. I learned how to use the rudder to keep an aircraft from sliding during a turn from a flight simulator. I did not even have rudder petals or a control yoke; I flew from the keyboard controls. Later, when I was in a real aircraft, the flight instructor told me I was a natural with the rudder. I made some comment along the lines of it being just like my computer game, and he replied that he found the younger students who played computer games were more natural with the controls. Now I know that flight simulators have a history of being designed for accuracy in simulating flying whereas GTA is certainly not meant to be an accurate driving simulator, but I can see how even an imperfect simulation will aid in learning real world skills.

See? (1)

Peetabix (1013583) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382791)

If the car had been a manual shift this wouldnt have happened.

Learned to drive? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26382799)

He learned more from watching mom from the other seat be sure. You could totally reduce the amount of auto related child injuries and DEATHS in this country if children were not allowed to watch drivers or drive in a vehicle at all.

I stole my parents car when I was 6. Fortunately I had the sense to keep it to the field.

So? (1)

fishbowl (7759) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382841)

It's more realistic than the god-awful simulator we had in Drivers' Ed in 1979.

Team Fortress Defense (1)

Arrakis Dv8r (1448299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382865)

I plan on using the Team Fortess defense when I next use a baseball bat on someone.

I blame the parents (4, Funny)

ParanoiaBOTS (903635) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382875)

For getting a car that is driven with an analog stick and/or a D-pad

That's ridiculous (1)

sonciwind (970454) | more than 5 years ago | (#26382913)

If he had learned how to drive in GTF, he would have ran into a prostitute.

Right.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26383047)

And watching Star Trek taught me how to build a Warp Drive....

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